They weave together fantasy and reality, interpret vast emotional landscapes, capture the endless hues in setting suns and fleeting moments of bliss; they grapple with the darkest places and our darkest hours; they get us thinking about color and symmetry and form. We might expect an artist's bedroom to reflect the passion it takes to create worlds of new ideas. Yet I was surprised to find a restrained simplicity in their places of respite.
Perhaps the subtle nature of these rooms reflects the tremendous discipline it takes to live as a working artist? Perhaps it's because they live largely in their imagination, and so their physical world needs to be free of clutter and over-stimulation?
I often add new things to my bedroom to try and create the right feel, yet these bedrooms speak to the value of restraint in bedroom decor, for leaving room to imagine and dream. After all, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep." (The Tempest Act 4, scene 1). I think artists inherently know this.
1. Robert Motherwell. Motherwell stated that simple furnishings are "more natural" for him, and his room includes only two paintings, one by him and a collage by Miro.
2. Willem de Kooning. His East Hampton home bedroom is "bright and functional" with very little adornment.
3. Caitlin Wylde. This photo of the artist's bedroom is taken from a house tour we did of Caitlin's artist retreat in November, 2011.
4. Claes Oldenburg. Master bedroom at the artist's Loire Valley home. The bedspread is a traditional Japanese fabric, mixed with an Eileen Gray mirror and dresser.
5. Kent Monkman, a mixed-media artist living in Toronto has created a tranquil environment with a sense of purpose to each piece.
6. Claude Monet. His bedroom at Giverny features a very simple room with stunning views of his gardens.
7. Elizabeth Duvivier. Elizabeth's bedroom was featured as part of a house tour we did in January 2012.
8. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner's, bedroom in their East Hampton home and studio.
9. John Ruskin. This is Ruskin's bedroom at his Brantwood home in the Lake District of England.
10. Kenneth Noland. Noland's bedroom in a renovated historic Dutch barn.
11. Georgia O'Keeffe. O'Keeffe's bedroom in Abiquiu, NM. The room features an Alexander Calder mobile, but otherwise is notably spare, surrounded by the breathtaking natural landscape of New Mexico. Architectural Digest has some stunning pictures of O'Keeffe's recently restored home at Ghost Ranch.
12. Paul Gauguin. Gauguin's bedroom is marked by a lack of a fireplace and rather austere decor.
13. Aaron Young in his bedroom in New York City.
(Images: 1. Architectural Digest 2. Architectural Digest 3. Caitlin Creates an Artist Retreat in the Hills 4. Architectural Digest 5. Dwell 6. Giverny.org 7. Elizabeth's Artist Retreat 8. Sour Cherry Farm 9. About Britain 10. Architectural Digest 11. Georgia Junkie 12. Art in Heath 13. The Selby)